Taylor Swift is a globally renowned American singer-songwriter and actress and one of the most commercially successful artists in the music industry. She has had a tremendous cultural, economic, and musical impact all around the world. Now Australia is going to hold a world-first international academic symposium on the impact of Taylor Swift. The University of Melbourne will host Swiftposium 2024 in February. The three-day event will be an international academic symposium and coincide with Swift bringing her Eras Tour to the country.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, while Swift has been the subject of several university courses in the US, this is the first time a global symposium is being held to examine her impact on everything from the music industry to fandom to pop culture to the economy. The event will take place February 11-13 at the University of Melbourne as well as online. It has been collaboratively organized by scholars from seven universities across Australia and New Zealand.
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“Swiftposium is a hybrid academic conference for scholars to engage in critical dialogue about Swift’s popularity and its profound implications for a range of issues, including gender, fandom, popular culture, literature, the economy, the music industry, and more,” the event’s website notes in a call for proposals. The site offers a list of possible topics, adding, “Critical engagement with the Taylor Swift phenomenon is encouraged, and diverse voices and opinions are welcome.”
According to the BBC, Swift, who shot to stardom as a teenager, has found herself at the centre of huge cultural moments and debates throughout her career. The 33-year-old has become one of the highest-earning and most decorated artists of all time, all while igniting conversations about everything from streaming royalties and music ownership to misogyny and cancellation culture. Such is the effect of Swift’s current Eras Tour that she has crashed ticketing sites, experts have coined a new “Swiftonomics” trend, and places like Victoria in Australia have rushed through scalping law reform.
“She’s quite a phenomenon,” Swiftposium organiser Jennifer Beckett from the University of Melbourne told the BBC.
“Taylor Swift really does have a very concrete impact globally, across things that affect all of us,” Dr Beckett said, highlighting her impact on the role of women in industry, entertainment law, and even the economy.
“World leaders are begging for her to bring the Eras Tour to their country because of the economic benefits that it brings,” she added.
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